Housing & Benefits Staff Attorney - Make the Road New York

Make the Road New York (MRNY) seeks a bilingual (Spanish & English) full-time staff attorney with expertise in housing law to start work in October 2022.

The Organization:

MAKE THE ROAD NEW YORK (MRNY) builds the power of immigrant and working-class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services. MRNY operates community centers in Bushwick, Brooklyn; Jackson Heights, Queens; Port Richmond, Staten Island; Brentwood, Long Island and White Plains, Westchester County. With a membership of over 24,000, MRNY tackles the critical issues facing our communities, including workplace justice, tenants’ rights, immigrant and civil rights, public education, health care access, policing, and TGNCIQ justice. (TGNCIQ = transgender, gender non-conforming, intersex and queer)

MRNY is a multi-service organization. Our member-led organizing committees – which work on the issues named above – implement strategies to combat shared problems and develop leadership and the capacity for civic participation. We also provide an array of high-quality bilingual services: English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Spanish-language literacy, computer literacy, citizenship preparation, and in-school and after-school youth programs. Our health program offers facilitated enrollment into health insurance programs and SNAP benefits, a community health worker home visit program, nutrition education and emergency food pantries, health care navigation, and more. We have a robust legal program that offers direct representation across a spectrum of practice areas, including employment law, immigration law, housing and benefits, and TGNCIQ civil rights; we also take on impact litigation as a strategy for achieving broad change.

Legal and Support Service at Make the Road New York:

The Department of Legal and Support Services at MRNY works to strengthen the organization’s organizing work by (1) helping to envision and implement leverage strategies (including strategic litigation) that help win our organizing campaigns; (2) providing technical legal support for policy work; and (3) providing legal and support services to high-need immigrant and low-income communities and help meet the immediate needs of MRNY’s members. The Department currently employs approximately 45 attorneys, advocates and case managers. Our legal team is integrated into all aspects of the organization’s work. The Housing & Benefits Team consists of a supervising attorney, three experienced staff attorneys, a housing and benefits advocate, and an intake and outreach paralegal.

Current opening:                      

We are currently hiring a staff attorney based out of our Brooklyn office to provide cutting-edge eviction defense and housing quality enforcement in aggressively gentrifying neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. This person will work with the Housing & Benefits legal team as well as Housing Organizers to represent both individuals and groups of tenants in enforcing their rights and fighting tenant harassment.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

Provide advice and representation to low-income tenants and tenant associations in neighborhoods facing strong displacement pressure.
Maintain a docket of housing cases, including but not limited to complex holdovers, nonpayment proceedings, HP actions, Article 78 proceedings, and administrative hearings.
Collaborate with MRNY organizers to build, support, and represent tenant associations.
Assist in community education efforts, including through the creation of written materials, KYR presentations, and popular education workshops.
Support MRNY members and organizing campaigns through strategic litigation, legislative advocacy, research, media work, and action support.
Participate in team and department meetings; collaborate with external partners; and assist with tracking and highlighting cases as necessary for development and grant reporting.
Continuous learning regarding movement lawyering (theory and application) as well as other critical concepts that underscore our organizational approach to building power, such as racialized capitalism.

Eligible to work in the US
Required to be fully vaccinated with a FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine prior first day of employment.
Admission to practice law in New York State (will consider applicants who have passed the bar with admission pending).
Spanish language proficiency.
Experience providing legal services to low-income tenants.
Commitment to social justice, community building, and housing as a human right.
Interpersonal and organizational skills of the highest caliber.
Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-energy environment.
Experience with populations that make up major portions of Make the Road’s membership – such as documented and undocumented immigrants, individuals facing domestic violence, members of TGNCIQ communities, those who have experienced the criminal legal system, and youth.
Interest in supporting community organizing, campaigns, and policy and advocacy initiatives.

We seek but do not require the following:
1-5 years of housing litigation experience.
Spanish language fluency.
Relevant lived experience, including, but not limited to, having been a member of a low-income, immigrant community.
Experience with community organizing.

Salary and Benefits:
Starting salary is based on a step scale based on years of experience. Generous package of vacation, personal and sick days. Excellent health and dental coverage and family leave policies. Salary range for this position is from $74,852 - $84,587.

To Apply:

Please apply with a cover letter, resume, and writing sample in Make the Road New York's career center.

Applications accepted until the position is filled. 

MRNY is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse staff. Women, TGNCIQ people, people with disabilities, and BIPOC are strongly encouraged to apply. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, genetic information, disability or marital status.

Details at a Glance

Full Time Schedule

USD $74,852 - USD $84,587 / year

Work must be performed in or near Kings County, NY

301 Grove St, Brooklyn, NY 11237, USA

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